How Project CityTrace began

 

Pittsburgh has recently seen significant economic change in its communities. The influx of new businesses and industries has brought resources into transitioning areas in Pittsburgh. However, while gentrification helps areas grow, it displaces residents from their personal history and cultural ties within the community.

Through CityTrace, we hope to place the community back in the hands of the residents, by providing a storytelling platform for community members, old and new, to share their own unique stories and ideas about their neighborhoods.

Since late 2016, we have been interviewing residents from the East Liberty and Lawrenceville area, who gave their thoughts about how gentrification has affected the cultural spaces they live in. These real accounts inspired us to envision an online platform where stories and actions can build a richer understanding of community development, beyond existing neighborhood platforms.

In the long run, we hope that this citizen-led sharing and archiving of stories will reknit social and cultural ties within communities, as well as generate new ideas for inclusive reurbanization.